I'm that person who drives around town with one bar left on my fuel gauge. I have a pretty good sense of how far I can go before I have to steer my vehicle into the local gas station.
I do not like to refuel.
Buying gas for my vehicle is not the same as buying a new set of dishes. Never have I had a girlfriend compliment my brand new tank of gas. But refueling is essential if I'm going to get anywhere.
Here's what I know about me. I will run myself out. Ragged. Empty. Too much stuff piled onto my calendar without stopping to fill my soul leaves me good for nothing. Coughing empty fumes into the air and trying to pass them off as worship or service or praise gets old and tired fast. Refueling is essential if I'm going to get anywhere.
And just as that one last bar on my fuel gauge starts to flash at me to warn me that the fuel level is dangerously low, there are signs that tell me I need to pay attention to my spirit. When I get too easily frustrated, or find myself exhausted halfway through the day, it's a good indicator that my spirit needs to refuel.
Here are some steps I take to reconnect:
Unplug the television, the radio, the computer(!), the cell phone. Turning them on is a habit. Turning them off is a discipline. When I replace the habit with discipline – even if just for half a day – I find my thoughts turning to God more often.
Spend time in silence. We visited the Grand Canyon a few years ago, and one day my husband and I decided to hike down the Angel Trail. There were very few people on the trail, and it seemed as if we had the canyon all to ourselves. At one point we each walked alone and I found myself standing still on that trail, listening to the silence. It was so quiet that it almost hurt my ears. The silence was so profound that it drew my heart to God. I stood on that dusty, silent, Angel Trail and recognized my smallness in His presence.
Recall a favorite Bible verse. When I need to refuel, rediscovering a favorite verse speaks to me in a special way. It's as if I need to reacquaint myself, and the verses that I know by heart return to me like an old friend. They comfort and encourage and remind me that these sacred and ancient words are life giving and life affirming.
Be still. I don't always need to be doing something. It took awhile for me to appreciate that. But now I know that when it's time to refuel, I need to be still. No laundry. No dishes. No projects. In this moment, refueling is the project.
Are you running on fumes? Is it time to refuel? Is your spiritual gauge flashing a warning? Find the nearest off-ramp and spend a little time refilling your spirit. Drink up the peace that comes from reconnecting with God. Spend time nurturing your relationship with Him. And don't worry about me. I'm right behind you on that exit ramp.